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St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery

Villanova University, Pennsylvania

The Brothers of the Order of Hermits of Saint Augustine is a Roman Catholic religious order that founded Villanova University, and still has a monastery located within a historic building in the heart of the campus. Constructed in 1933, the main portion of the monastery replaces a previous building on the site that burned in 1929. A portion of the original building remains and is adjacent to the 1933 structure. The client selected Kitchen & Associates to upgrade living quarters, common areas, and mechanical systems to modern standards. As the two sections of the monastery had differing floor levels, the construction of a new elevator and addition was required to provide wheelchair accessibility for both wings. A new chapel is located on the ground floor of the addition.

The addition is in the form of a glassy atrium space with walkways on each floor to a new double-sided elevator that replaces an earlier elevator. The walkways are pulled away from the existing building in order to preserve the ornate stonework on the facade and to create a 4-story daylit atrium space to serve as a new main entrance. The new chapel, replacing a small windowless chapel, is tucked below the second floor walkway, and incorporates large areas of glass in order to optimize views from the chapel as well as to open the monastery’s daily worship life to the larger campus community.

Project responsibilities included conceptual design of the addition and interior renovations and guiding the design through construction documents. This involved working closely with the client, the monastic community, and various consultants and vendors.

The project was completed January 2005 and was the subject of an article by the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Click on a thumbnail below for a full-size image:

Elevation
Section
First Floor Plan
Second Floor Plan
Third Floor Plan
Fourth Floor Plan
Enlarged Plan at Chapel
Existing Conditions
Exterior Photos
Interior Photos

 

Kitchen & Associates
2002 – 2003
Project Principal Gene Schiavo
Photography Jonathan Liffgens